Sunday, May 28, 2006

IIML Fresher's Meet 2006

I attended the IIM-L Fresher's meet this saturday (27th May). They had arranged it at Maurya Sheraton Hotel - inviting PGP1 (that would be us), PGP2 (whoever was in Delhi) and Alumni.

The atmosphere was formal for an hour or so - waiters circulating amongst the small groups cheese pakora and murg tikkas; Each senior giving fundaa (called GLOBE in IIM lingo) to each small gathering of facchas. This was supposed to be the prime time for networking, for 'getting to know' seniors. I don't think many of us tried that. When we ran of the silly questions, we moved on from the lounge to the main hall.

Some of the favourite silly questions were "Is there a mess in the campus ?"; "Do you have to study a lot ?" ; "Do I need to bring a bike/vehicle ?" ; "Is CGPA important ?" Most of these could be answered by a diplomat's favourite phrase - "it depends."

It would be naive' to attribute what happened next to alcohol. It can be blamed on something even more potent - 'tradition'.

After the alumni and popular PGP2's (the kind that get a woo-hoo ! ALL the time) were done with their speeches, one of the seniors went up to the mike and said, "Those freshers that are not dressed in formals assemble in front of the stage." That's when I was hit by an overwhelming feeling of deja-vu....

It was exact replica of a college fresher's night - We gave our intros ; Some sang songs ; Some sang cute nursery rhymes ; We danced silly steps for the lovely cameras ; Lined up for the lovely seniors. Soon, we were free to do what we wanted. Of course then we all danced for quite a while. It was great fun - except for the Himesh Reshamiya numbers !

At 10.30pm I encountered the most complex situation of the evening - the dinner. Should I eat the food I know or the dishes that I haven't ever tried or pronounced ? I did the latter and had a serving of weird fish, weird mediterranian vegetables, spectacular lasagnia, khichdi risotto and some dal-roti to satisfy my stomach. Then I stood and gaped at the dozen variety of salads. Since I couldn't choose, I tried all of them. I had of course planned ahead and had left substantial space for dessert. Did I like it ? Lets just say I had more than one helping of the pastries :)

A few energetic beings went back to the dance floor. The rest of us tacitly decided to exit the venue. I made a last visit to the Maurya Sheraton loo (who knows when I'll get to pee there again !) and then safely drove back home.

Oye Hoe Dilli

Quite often, an encounter with Dilli-waalas evokes an odd mixture of awe, disgust and appreciation within me. I am against pointless generalizations. But Dilli waalas are truly something ! It's quite annoying to drive with them. Their utter disrespect for rules/ethics is evident. But the heart of dilli-behaviour lies in its marketplaces. A general store owner will slowly inch out of his land boundary and set the egg crates and pepsi stacks three feet away, marking his little territory. Banners with loud 'SALE SALE' graphics will be strung across poles that didn't expect it. Salesman will smile, get you chai-paani without making you feel obligated. Very rarely will you hear anyone say, "nahi milega."

This evening I went shopping for general purchases to ATTA market - an appalling example of illegal construction, indian congestion, pollution and behaviour reflecting the theme of this article. The whole of NOIDA loves it because that's the kind of market that screams variety and wide price ranges. Sandal shopping was first priority. We struggled to move in the intended direction, against the current of human mass. My dad pointed to 'Anand Shoes' and asked - "Yehi apni dukaan hai kya ? " The salesman jumped up - "Arre sir, aap andar to aaiye." As I reached the shop entrance, he gave me the eyebrow-raise greeting and shook hands with genuine enthusiasm - "aur bhaiya kya haal hain ?" I assure you all I don't have any memory of meeting this man. Of course I politely shook hands and went inside. I specified what I wanted. He bellowed something to the junior mundu. That guy in turn threw out a few boxes of sandals. (Those who have purchased shoes from this grade of shops must have noticed this quicky action that all salesman perfect - flipping the box and opening it in one smooth action. Somehow, it always seems impressive - a stamp of experience).

Eventually, we were down to two choices - a brownish sandal with a thick sole and a simpler flat sandal. This is where the exchange got interesting. Before the price is settled, the customer usually has to be convinced about his purchases. The reassurances can seem as sincere or hollow as one wants them to be. Questions can also be accusative. In such cases, the rejoinder from the salesman has to be both quick and convincing. Any blemishes can be fatal to the purchase.

Customer 0---Salesman 0

I wore the flat sandal, walked around and commented - "bhaiya, thode din to leather kaatega." (the leather will bite for a while) He quickly replied, "Arre humne to saare daant nikal diye hain"(I have removed all the teeth).
Customer 0---Salesman 1

I wore the other pair. The heel seemed excessive. My mother said "heel thoda zyaada lag raha hai." He quicky said, "inko pehan kar bhaiya aasman ke taare chooenge."
Customer 0---Salesman 2

I had pretty decided to buy the flat sandal. I asked, "Ye kitne dil chalega?" He assured me, "Bhaiya ek saal to chalna chahiye." That was quite a shock. I retorted - "Lo ! Ye Sarojini Nagar ke sandal ek saal chale hain. Aapka bhi ek saal hi chalega !!" He took only a second to recover - "Chalega to 2-3 saal. Aap to ek saal mein humse aur bhi sandal khareedenge na ?
Customer 0 --Salesman 3

We bargained. And bought it. The leather has been kind to me for these few hours. the design seems fine. Will it last for an year ? Lets pray :)

I wonder how a similar trip in good old bengal would have been.
--"Bhaiya, Sandal khareedna hai."
--"Hobe na !"

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Treat @ KGP

Definitions :

Monkey Business : Individual must share his/her goods with society, whatever they may be.

Treat : KGP's way of doing Monkey Business. Hey ! You got a job. Why not let us milk some of that monetary blessing. Sure, since we are humans in a society, it may not be appropriate to deal in cash, or divide it amongst ourselves. So allow me to consume enough alcohol and food, to add up to around the same amound of money, as I would have received, if I was not bound by society's rules. Job @ Infosys - Booze treat Rs 1000/- should be fine. Job @ L&T - Now I must receive compensation of at least 1500/-. Job @ Mckinsey - hehe...get ready to curse God for making you so charming and smart !

Photo abbreviations - ALL made up. I know nothing about the art. I just opine

Treat Rules

Rule no 1 : They all look the same.

Rule no 2 : Some moron or the other always gets sento. Sento involves tumbling, being utterly dependent on others for reaching your room, talking loudly and insensibly, having lenghty conversations about nothing - and having fun doing all this.

Rule no 3 : You can either pig out on starters, or on the food. You can't have the cake and eat it too. You can't have the Tandoori Chicken and eat the Paneer Butter Masala too.

Rule no 3 : All treat photos invariably look terrible. Here's the explanation :

Photographs at treats are always constrained by the silly table. It's 2' X 5' and obviously, someone's got to be at the other end. And hence the photographer, the unfortunate member of the gang who isn't in the photo has to either sit-and-click (SAC) or Click-at-end-of-table (CAEOT).

The Taxi Ride : For some reason, the treat members want to capture the journey to the food joint. Hence, the guy with enough volition to place the camera at a suitable angle, clicks. And the result is usually something like this :
Ugly guy, guy, guy in half

The CAEOTs : CAEOTs always involve obnoxiously large faces at the front and disregardable faces behind those two. A sample...

2 bright guys, rest irrelevant

Sometimes, the photograher tries to capture SOME members of the gang. That turns out to be even more hideous. Weird angles (WA's), Big Faces (BF's) and an ugly photo overall.

Sweet memories ? I don't think so!

The SAC's : SAC's are a result of the lethargy of the photograher and the LOE (lack of enthu) of the others. Some manage to get captured by the frame. Rest, well nobody will ever know what they were upto at that second.

bright guy, guy, irrelevant

The End : After all the food mayhem is over, some still have the urge to capture those moments. Nobody's interested, few notice him and the photo turns out like this :

not looking, looking, not looking, irrelevant

The participants, regardless of the grotesque nature of the products, want to cherish these photos as proof of their drunkenness. The collection is never made presentable. Should I delete this blurred photo ? NOOO..Why trash it, when my 80GB hard disk can store all the crap I can want ! Why not click at 1024x768 - that's the best resolution you'll need for such photos...NOOO...Go for the best - 2048x1536. Why have small files, when you can store crap in larger spaces !

And hence these treats thrive - eating our bank accounts, our time, our health, our hard disk and our sweet memories, which are rapidly losing their saccharified essence..

Iyer, treat kab de rahe ho ?
Have a banana...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My favourite video on YouTube

It's called "Hey Clip".
As of now, it's been viewed 3,741,383 times and has logged 3121 comments.
This is how the creators succinctly describe it :

heya all! dancing stupid is fun.
me and my friend in a cool clip.
"Hey" by the pixies

Check it out !